Honduran Election Jeopardy

November 17, 2009

By Padmini Arhant

The political situation in Honduras has evolved into a constitutional crisis with the upcoming national elections scheduled on November 29, 2009. President Manuel Zelaya, a democratically elected head of the state was ousted through a military coup approved by the Honduran Congress on the premise that the deposed leader allegedly attempted to subvert the constitution to remain in power.

Meanwhile, the self-appointed interim President Roberto Micheletti has not wasted any time in demonstrating the monstrosity of a typical military coup since seizing power in June, 2009. In a bizarre twist to the political fiasco, the Congress and the military regime are in breach of the constitution they were proposing to defend against the Zelaya government. Hondurans plight has worsened with the political unrest and contrarily solidified the support for the legitimate Zelaya leadership.

To add insult to injury, the U.S. State Department intervened in a manner to broker the open-end ‘Tegucigalpa San Jose Accord’ on October 29, 2009 without any stipulations or deadline.

According to the Associated Press release on date – Martha Mendoza in Mexico City

“The accord calls for the formation of a national unity government, but does not require Zelaya’s restoration to office, leaving that decision up to Congress. It set no deadline for lawmakers to vote.
Honduran lawmakers will not decide whether to restore ousted President Manuel Zelaya until after upcoming presidential elections, the congressional leader said Tuesday, a decision that could undermine international support for the vote.

The administration of President Barack Obama has repeatedly said that recognition of the election is not linked to any one action, said State Department spokesman Charles Luoma-Overstreet.

Several Latin American countries have warned they will not recognize the outcome of the election unless Zelaya is restored beforehand.

But the United States has not ruled out restoring diplomatic ties with a newly elected Honduran government even if Zelaya remains out of power through the vote.

Zelaya declared the pact a failure two weeks ago when Micheletti announced the formation of a unity government before Congress had voted, accusing the interim leader of maneuvering to stay in power.”
Analysis – By Padmini Arhant

It’s apparent to any reasonable mind that the U.S. State department’s haphazard mediation has exacerbated the turmoil in the absence of specificity and clarity not to mention the weakening of the United States status to resolve international issues.

In perspective, the precise solutions to the Honduran political climax is for the interim coup leader Roberto Micheletti to acknowledge the reality and gracefully step aside by allowing the democratically preferred President Manuel Zelaya to resume office until the end of his elected term – January 2010.

As for the Honduran Congress, the actions or the lack thereof strongly suggest their undermining of the constitution they were elected to protect and honor in a democracy. Therefore, it’s incumbent on the Congress as elected representatives to comply with the popular demand and reinstate the Zelaya Presidency that would ensure the political stability right now. Furthermore, within the constitutional framework President Manuel Zelaya should be able to seek re-election provided there is a populace support for the process.

Nevertheless, the military coup under Roberto Micheletti and the Honduran Congress has violated the constitution more than the purported effort by President Manuel Zelaya.

Restoring democracy in Honduras is paramount for political security in the Western hemisphere, considering the precarious economic conditions affecting the majority in the region. The Latin American nations’ decision to denounce the Congress vote and the electoral result is appropriate due to the prevalent undemocratic events thus far.

President Manuel Zelaya is the democratically elected leader and constitutionally justified to govern the nation effective immediately and the forces in defiant of the democratic values are worthy of condemnation notwithstanding their removal from office.

The people of Honduras have displayed tremendous fortitude in rejecting the military takeover and the regional solidarity has been instrumental in containing the unaffordable calamity.

I convey my best wishes to the people of Honduras and encourage them to remain unified in preserving freedom and democracy.

Thank you.

Padmini Arhant


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